Most of us agree that we are living in unprecedented times, and we are treading in unchartered territory. People are feeling anxious, depressed and uncertain about the future. However, when I reflect on what is happening now, for sanity’s sake, I have to take a look back at what I have already come through. Just as David did, in 1 Samuel 30:6, I encourage myself in the Lord.
And David was greatly distressed; for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.
The Bible says that David encouraged himself, but it did not tell us how he did it. I imagine David also took a look back at what he had already come through. He probably allowed himself to reflect on previous battles fought and victories won. I’m sure he reminisced on how God chose him, a shepherd boy, to be anointed as King of Israel. (1 Samuel 16:1-13). He certainly had to think about how his father sent him to check on his brothers on the battlefield and he ended up defeating the giant Goliath. (1 Samuel 17:17-51). Of course, he could not forget how God preserved his life when King Saul placed a bounty on his life. (1 Samuel 23:14). David had history with God. He had experienced God’s goodness and His protection. So, rather than sink into despair as the other men did, he chose to remember who his God was and what his God had already done for him. We can also make that same choice.
The song says, “When I think of the goodness of Jesus, and all that He has done for me, my soul cries hallelujah. . .” To encourage ourselves, we must first choose to “think” on the Lord’s goodness. We can be like the men that were with David and lament about what we have lost, or throw our hands up in despair because of all the various problems we are facing; however, that would only leave us in despair. On the other hand, we could choose to remind ourselves of God’s goodness and His lovingkindness towards us. “The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.” (Psalm 145:8, AMP). If we choose to remind ourselves of battles previously fought and won, we would find ourselves with strength to withstand our present circumstances.
After David had encouraged himself, he went back to God and asked Him what to do next, and God answered Him. “And David enquired at the Lord, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? Shall I overtake them? And He answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.” (1 Samuel 30:6). And the scriptures tell us that David pursued his enemy and he indeed recovered all. (1 Samuel 30:18-19). In this pandemic, in this economic recession, in this climate of racial injustice, God still has a recovery plan. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end (future). (Jeremiah 29:11). If you have experienced losses during this time, God has a recovery plan. “And we know that ALL things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28).
Do you have history with God? Have you ever experienced God’s goodness? Has God ever turned any situation around for you? Has He ever given you better than what you lost? Has He ever kept you when you didn’t even think you would make it? Has He ever done anything for you? In the words of Tye Tribbett, “If He did it before, He can do it again.”
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusts in thee. Isaiah 26:3